This from Florida Today: Late last Friday, the architect and manager of Florida’s COVID-19 dashboard — praised by White House officials for its accessibility — announced that she had been removed from her post, causing outcry from independent researchers now worried about government censorship.
The dashboard has been a one-stop shop for researchers, the media and the public to access and download tables of COVID-19 cases, testing and death data to analyze freely. It had been widely hailed as a shining example of transparency and accessibility.
But over the last few weeks it had “crashed” and gone offline; data has gone missing without explanation and access to the underlying data sheets has become increasingly difficult.
The site was created by a team of Florida Department of Health data scientists and public health officers headed by Rebekah Jones. She announced last week her removal as of May 5 in a heartfelt farewell note emailed to researchers and other members of the public who had signed up to receive updates on the data portal.
Citing “reasons beyond my division’s control,” Jones said her office is no longer managing the dashboard, is no longer involved in publication, fixing errors or answering questions “in any shape or form.”
She warned that she does not know what the new team’s intentions are for data access, including “what data they are now restricting.”
About the dashboard.
Jones’ dashboard covers the total cases in Florida, including the number of Florida and non-Florida residents who’ve tested positive, the number of deaths and how many people are being monitored. As of March 30, the dashboard had received more than 44.7 million views—and climbing—from unique IP addresses. Learn more HERE